DAMASCUS – The Islamic State group (ISIS) said on Wednesday that it was holding a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage and has reportedly asked for an unspecified ransom for their release.
The ISIS announcement came in the latest issue of the extremist group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, distributed on Twitter.
On page 66 of Dabiq magazine, ISIS reportedly said that the sale of the hostages was “an offer for a limited time only”.
The group gave no fighter details about where or when the two men were captured, or the location where they’re being held.
ISIS published an “advertisement” for each man, announcing they are “for sale”.
Under each man’s photograph, it says: “To whom it may concern of the Crusaders, pagans, and their allies, as well as what are referred to as human ‘rights’ organizations, this prisoner was abandoned by his government, which did not do its utmost to purchase his freedom.”
“Whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer can contact the following telegram number. This is a limited time offer,” the advertisement said at the button of each man’s photograph.
It did not say how much money was being demanded, nor when the opportunity to pay it would expire.
It identified the Chinese hostage as Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old consultant.
In the meantime, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed that a Norwegian citizen was being held by the radical group, but emphasized that “Norway does not pay ransoms”.
She told reporters that the Norwegian hostage is 48-year-old Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, adding that he had been abducted shortly after arriving in Syria in January.
“I can confirm that a Norwegian citizen has been kidnapped and is being held prisoner in Syria,” Solberg said. “This is a serious and complicated affair. Our objective is to bring our fellow citizen home safely to Norway.”
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